'No breakthrough' in latest round of Government talks

'No breakthrough' in latest round of Government talks

Talks between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have ended in stalemate this evening but are to reconvene tomorrow, writes Irish Examiner Political Editor Daniel McConnell.

Fine Gael re-stated an offer made to Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin by Enda Kenny over the weekend, which would see water charges suspended for up to two years and a commission established over the future of Irish Water.

Speaking at the conclusion of the talks, acting Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney confirmed that he and his fellow negotiators made an offer “to move things on”.

However, the Fianna Fáil team did not respond in detail with a counter offer.

It is expected that Fianna Fail will give their decision when the teams reconvene tomorrow.

Barry Cowen, one of the lead Fianna Fáil negotiators, confirmed that little progress was made today.

“There hasn't been a breakthrough,” he said.

Asked about his view on the prospect of the talks succeeding, Mr Cowen said: "It's still a 50-50 chance”.

Mr Cowen said despite the Fine Gael offer, Fianna Fáil remains true to its manifesto commitments including its call for a five-year suspension of water charges.

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